Yet another serial rapist on trial in KZN

Durban - Yet another serial rapist appeared in court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to24 counts of kidnapping, rape and theft.

In the past two months, two other men were found guilty on several counts of rape and were sentenced to life imprisonment.

In this case, Durban man, Mhlabunzima Goodnews Zondi, had driven around Pietermaritzburg and Durban and had offered lifts to women.

But instead of taking them to their requested destinations, he would drive them to secluded spots and rape them, sometimes taking them back to town before he returned home, or leaving them in the vicinity of the crime.

Durban Regional Court magistrate, Lee Bonhomme, had asked Zondi how he pleaded to all 24 counts after the charges were put to him by prosecutor Shayna Naidoo.

The neatly dressed man, wearing a white formal shirt and grey pants, pleaded guilty.

Zondi, 40, was arrested in 2014 for the rape and kidnapping of 11 women, aged 17 to 23, during the period August 2009 to December 2013.

He was also charged and pleaded guilty to stealing R400 and bank cards from one of the 11 women he raped as well as pointing of a firearm.

His Legal Aid attorney, Canson Sifiso Lushaba, read out Zondi’s guilty plea to the court. It said Zondi was “very remorseful” and asked for the court’s mercy on him.

Zondi’s DNA had linked him to all the rape charges.

Only one of the women was raped in Durban, in the Umgeni Road area in November 2011. The others were attacked around Pietermaritzburg.

After offering the women lifts, he would drive to secluded areas and rape them in his car.

One woman was ordered into his car at gunpoint while she was out walking.

Zondi is currently in custody and was expected back in court on Wednesday for the State to provide certain documents to the court and for a date to be set for sentencing.

Last week, Durban High Court Judge Kate Pillay sentenced serial rapist Khanyiseni Njabulo Ngobese, 27, of KwaMashu, to life imprisonment for raping 10 women including three minors, a pregnant woman and a woman he raped twice.

Prior to this, serial rapist Mzwakhe Sithole, 26, pleaded guilty before Verulam Regional Court magistrate Jenny Pillay to raping a 10-year-old boy and two young women. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for each of the rapes.